valuing waste

caring / discard practices / nature-culture relations
 University of Amsterdam [postdoc)

Currently, I work at the Anthropology department at the University of Amsterdam where I explore waste and how it is valued in different settings such as households, cities, and markets. Take as an example organic waste. In practice, organic waste is not without value but valued, and thereby transformed, in diverse ways: as fertiliser in households, as food for rats and birds in cities, or as a commodity in the circular economy. As waste is valued differently in different situations, the humans involved engage in different ways with soils, animals, and microbes. Simultaneously, sustainability, as an order of worth-in-the-making, takes diverse shapes, and gives rise to new, more or less equal, relations between humans and nonhumans, and among humans.


De Wilde, M., W. Koopman & A. Mol (2020) Clean in Times of Covid-19: on Hygiene and Pollution. Somatosphere.

Franssen, T.P. & M. de Wilde (forthcoming) A clean green future isn't set in stone. Nature Geoscience

working papers

​​Zero waste, multi species: on consuming apples, sustainably. Paper presented at the Waste, Work, and Values Symposium, Uppsala University, May 11-12, 2021​.


Knowing with algae: on engaging with a multispecies prototype in an ecovillage. Paper presented at the EASST/4S Conference, Prague, 18-21 August 2020 [co-authored with Fenna Smits]